A veterinary technologist is a veterinary technician who furthered their education and credentials in order to take on more advanced research-related careers. While a veterinary technician is a nursing technician with technical veterinary medical skills, a veterinary technologist is a technologist in veterinary science and technology. The focus of the two careers, though similar at times, tends to be quite different as both types of vet techs are able to perform a wide range of technical nursing and laboratory procedures. The difference is vet technologists are able to gain supervisor and teacher roles after gaining experience.
Veterinary Technologist Education
To become a veterinary technologist, you must first become a veterinary technician. Basic science and animal nursing and veterinary technology courses are involved in the first two years of education. Once those initial classes and years have passed, a veterinary technologist then goes on to study for an additional two years taking courses such as advanced veterinary technology, management and science.
After graduation from a four-year AVMA-accredited program, a veterinary technologist is awarded a bachelor’s degree and veterinary technology major. A vet technologist then has the option of continuing their education by receiving a specialty certification. Furthering ones education puts them on the pathway for success as a technologist, supervisor, teacher, manager or veterinary team.
Veterinary Technologist Careers
There are many opportunities in this growing field of veterinary technology. Veterinary technologists are in high demand, and the number of jobs is supposed to increase 36% by 2012, according to the BLS (US Bureau of Labor and Statistics). Possible roles that a veterinary technologist may want to take on are:
- Clinical Specialist
- Working Supervisor
- Sales Representative
- Animal Housing Director
- Practice Manager
- Teaching Technologist
- Herd Health Technologist
In any case, having the continued education, experience and training can help a vet tech reach their goals. Plus, with the increasing demand for veterinary technologists, new graduates are able to jump into the careers rather quickly.
Veterinary Technologist Salary
As reported to the BLS, the median salary for a veterinary technologist averages $40,000+. Depending on the field you’re in, you could make more or less than the average. Generally, veterinary technologists who work in research-related fields make double the median amount. However, these positions are scarce and require superior candidacy for consideration. It’s recommended that a veterinary technologist continue their education in a specific field, especially if they didn’t graduate at the top of their class. Years of experience coupled with education earns more per hour and per year